Elder/MS requirement for marriage talk? (Wedding not in KH)

by respectful_observer 24 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • respectful_observer

    Okay team,

    Some family friends who are engaged are getting some flack around the particulars of their wedding ceremony (surprise! "strain out the gnat, gulp down the camel", and all that).

    They are both baptized and in good standing, he is born-in, she is not. She (understandibly) is planning on having her sisters as bridesmaids (plus some JW girlfriends). Suddenly the elder who'd previously agreed to deliver the wedding talk refuses to do so since there are some non (NOT ex) JWs in the wedding party. On top of that, he's now scared away any other non-elder/MS brothers they've ask to step in to deliver the talk.

    I've done a fair amount of searching on the web, on this site, looked at any BOE letters I can find, etc. Found lots of written (and a reference to quite a few unwritten) rules when the ceremony is held at the KH, or when being performed by an elder/MS. But is anyone aware of any rules (written or otherwise) when it comes to having a baptized JW who is not an elder or MS give the wedding talk at a non-KH venue when members of the wedding party are not JWs?

  • George One Time
    George One Time

    It is true, outside the KH you can decide for yourself about your program. My brother for instance could not get permission for the hall because of premarital sex. So my father offered to give a talk at the place of the weddingparty, "since they were also in need of spiritual counsel". My father, who is an elder, did not get in trouble because of it. So maybe it is a loophole.

  • ttdtt

    The only caveat is that you need someone who has the Legal Standing to give the Vows and sign the marriage documents.

    Anyone can give the talk, but you must have someone the law recognizes to give the vows.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    I went to a wedding not too long ago IN a kingdom hall with multiple 'worldly' relatives. An elder gave the talk.

  • neat blue dog
    neat blue dog

    More specifically, what I meant to say is that the non-witnesses were in the wedding party walking down the aisle st this kingdom hall wedding I attended.

  • OnTheWayOut

    All JW's are considered "ministers" and could easily become recognized by the state or jurisdiction in question. Probably a quick internet search or visit to the place that issues the marriage licence would clear that up.

    The problem occurs that the elders will come down on the speaker, on the bride and groom- if this takes place. If they don't ever care about being ministerial servants, they might go for it. But then the elders will likely come down on JW's attending to stay away.

    It doesn't have to be a rule. They go by their cult training and gut feelings that if it's not done the JW way, then something is wrong. I would do it anyway, as the majority of people who care would attend anyway. As an elder, I went to "secular" weddings of "weak" JW's that were officiated by non-JW's with the legal authority to perform the vows. I never got any heat for doing so.

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro

    In some states (as an American I always assume you are in the USA), its not as easy to get a license to perform weddings. I know that when I was a Secretary, I helped a MS get a marriage license and I had to write a letter signed by the entire BOE that essentially said that we recognized him as a minister in our local congregation. So, if the BOE is against the wedding, you likely won't get that kind of assistance. Of course, if the person you have in mind is already authorized by the local officials, then not a problem.

    You can always find a secular official to do the actual vows then have a religious ceremony if you really want a JW marriage talk.

  • WTWizard

    What should be done:

    If the hounders make marriage difficult or impossible, or disapprove of it, then fornication should be the result. The hounders should be responsible. This also goes for imposing delays in marriage because one of them is still "worldly" or "newly baptized". And, if they hold up the marriage and the partner gets pulled out from under the victim, the victim should be able to sue the whole congregation for the whole amount that would have gone into the Worldwide Damnation Fund. To heaven if the Israel mission has to be called off or that congregation can't go because of this. The hounders should have thought of it before meddling.

    And, if the hounders try to force or coerce a bad marriage, adultery should be the result. This can happen if two people that are blatantly incompatible are put together and set up for marriage. Again, the hounders should be responsible for the adultery, and the victims should be able to sue the whole congregation to put their Israel mission participation in jeopardy.

  • carla

    Hopefully this will be the red flag they need to have successful and happy non jw life.

  • notalone

    When we got married, we were both pioneers, we were told that I had not been in the cong long enough for a kingdom hall wedding. So we married with the Justice of the peace and had a relative give a talk at a small ceremony afterwards.Some who heard we were not getting married in the hall were not going to attend assuming we had done something wrong. Nearly thirty years later and I couldn't be happier with that choice. No one told me what music was appropriate. No one had a say as to if the dress was modest enough. No one was involved in any decisions and most important when I look back my wedding it had nothing to do with the org- happy memory.

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